It has been a pleasure and honor to be asked for the 4th year running to be an entrepreneur mentor and advisor to the brightest, most ambitious and innovative legal minds in 20+ Universities (and law schools) across 20+ countries as a member of the Law Without Walls (LWOW) initiative. LWOW sprang up in 2009/10 as a community of entrepreneurs, legal practitioners, law professors and law students which focus on innovating in the legal sector.
Student participants work together on teams with the guidance of the LWOW community on projects aimed at innovating the practice of law, and education across the world. It has been featured in Time Magazine, The Financial Times, Forbes, The National Jurist, and more. It will certainly be interesting to see how the LWOW’s entrepreneurial essence pervades the psyche and influences and motivates the actions of the new breed of entrepreneurial lawyers graduating from its dynamic law schools thereby influencing legal service provision and innovation in this field throughout the world in years to come.
I also recall being interviewed by Preston Clark, a New York based attorney, business consultant and creator of TheLawInsider.com law blog (Top 15 Most Influential Law Blogs.) who wished me to share some of the content of The Naked Lawyer with his readers, and to convey my thoughts on what lawyers need to be doing to ensure their livelihood in the present and future. This was my advice: “… to develop key entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial (being entrepreneurial within the workplace), technological/digital, commercial and rainmaking skills as quickly as possible.”
In the current brave new world of independent lawyers and sole practitioners, assisting entrepreneurial lawyers to navigate powerful competition and regulatory upheaval with agility, I feel hugely privileged (no doubt alongside many of my friends, colleagues, clients and thought-leaders in their fields of expertise) to have been involved in this new wave of re-inventing lawyering; obviously for the better since these dynamos are out-performing and tearing strips off their peers (research and report here again in case you missed it, courtesy of LexisNexis).
Here’s a huge thumbs-up to you if you are reading this and you are one of them. Your clients will love you, as will Uncle Sam and UK PLC… The UK economy and that of Europe is predicted to be strong throughout this year and next. Similarly, the USA economy is looking positive along with China, predicted to grow over 7%, meaning global growth of 3.5% overall. Arguably, never has there been a better time for the entrepreneurial lawyer to start-up, whether within a group of like-minded souls or solo, particularly from home using some of the entrepreneurial techniques and technologies described herein.
There are Government backed initiatives to assist too. Here in the UK there’s a plethora of entrepreneurial success stories, particularly with regard to home-based businesses; so much so we contribute £300bn to our economy. If you hadn’t already guessed, yes, I am one of them… Yesterday/year (September 2008) I was a lawyer, serving the entrepreneur of tomorrow, today, in a traditional mid-tier law firm ivory tower in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
Today (September 2014), I am an entrepreneur, serving the lawyers of tomorrow, today, from my luxury apartment home and globe-trotting around the world. Since my journey began, five years ago, we appear to be witnessing a tsunami of entrepreneurial lawyers throughout the world. The Age of the Entrepreneurial Lawyer has arrived. Albeit back in 2010 I wrote in The Naked Lawyer that “Entrepreneurs are from Venus and lawyers are from Mars,” I am delighted to be proved wrong.
About Chrissie Lightfoot
Lawyers are from Venus and Entrepreneurs are from Mars, says Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer. Agree? Feel free to comment below. Chrissie Lightfoot has been involved in various entrepreneurial, innovative and commercial activity, experience and successes throughout her career to date, primarily in the Legal, New Media, Management Consultancy and Sport & Leisure sectors.
Chrissie was the first trainee solicitor in the UK and globally to devise a unique personal brand—Chrissie Lightfoot, The Entrepreneur Lawyer—which achieved impressive sales and marketing results.